Professional Resources

Tracking New Court Reporting Requirements on Lawyer AI Use

4/19/24 AILA Doc. No. 24041904. Ethics, Practice Management

Did you know that some courts are requiring lawyers who come before them to affirmatively tell the court whether they used artificial intelligence (AI) in the preparation of the case? Did you know some of the products immigration lawyers use to prepare cases may be using AI without you fully understanding that is what you are doing?

It’s time to wrap your head around the issue of what AI is and whether you are using it, so you are prepared to research and properly cite your use of it. But beyond that, it is important to keep up with the latest technology, and maybe there are good reasons to be transparent about your use of AI to the court and to your clients regardless of whether it is required.

First, let’s get a definition of AI from one of the most popular AI products, Google’s Gemini:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is basically computer systems that can perform tasks that are typically associated with human intelligence. This can include things like reasoning, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. There are two main categories of AI: narrow AI, which excels at specific tasks, and general AI, which hypothetically could perform any intellectual task a human can. Narrow AI is the kind of AI we see most commonly today.
There's a wide range of AI technologies that are used in many of the things we encounter every day. For instance, AI is used in apps that recommend stuff you might like on streaming services or chatbots you interact with for customer service.

For immigration lawyers, your case or practice management software may have already incorporated AI to assist you in queries of how to use the product, in summarizing, rewriting, or sifting through documents and auto-populating information from them to a form or database. Or you may be using ChatGPT, Gemini, Microsoft’s Copilot, Thomson Reuters’ CoCounsel, Visalaw’s GenAI, Claude, or another newer product, to do your work. If you are, you want to be aware of court requirements for reporting AI use.

Some courts require you to tell them about any use of AI, and others only require you to report specific types of use, while others have no requirement (currently). Use these resources to keep up with the quickly changing legal landscape of AI:

Before you submit to the court, you need to determine if you have a requirement to disclose any AI use. And, of course, don’t forget to check each and every citation you use, no matter its source. It’s part of the job. Happy brief writing.